An article entitled, “A Downside of Statins” appeared in the August 6, 2007, issue of the US News & World Report. Statins are the extremely popular cholesterol lowering medications like Mevacor, Crestor, Lipitor, Provachol and Zocor that are prescribed to about 25 million people worldwide.
What does this have to with women’s hormones and their relationship to migraine headaches, PMS (PMDD), menopause and depression? These statin drugs are just another example of prescription medications that were supposed to be a panacea for health that turns out to have unexpected side effects.
The good news is that statins really do lower cholesterol. The bad news is that they may increase your chances of getting cancer. The Journal of the Amercan College of Cardiology released a report that the lower levels of cholesterol achieved by these drugs was associated with a higher risk of cancers (like breast, prostate, lung and colon).
The mainstream naysayers are already backpedalling saying two things: 1) That this is just a mere “association” and 2) That it is only an extra one cancer out of a thousand increase.
Without getting into the ninny-nanny details of whether this is significant or not, I think they miss the overall point. In all my years of medicine, I have never seen, in normal people, that the lowering of cholesterol to ridiculously low levels actually makes a difference in increasing one’s lifespan.
Here is a fact that you probably did not know: Just as many people have heart attacks with “normal” cholesterol as with elevated cholesterol. So why are we killing ourselves over cholesterol?
Because there are some people walking around with extremely high levels of cholesterol (like 400 plus) that are indeed, a walking time bomb for a heart attack. Those people also have very strong family histories of heart disease and frequently have siblings drop dead suddently at age 42.
But for the vast majority of people, whose cholesterol is running around between 200 and 250, I have never seen proof that taking a toxic medication like a statin drug really makes a difference.
The fact that researchers are discovering evidence that some folks get cancers with aggressive dosing of statins should surprise nobody, because ALL prescription medications are toxic, by definition. Anything that is not bio-identical to the body is a foreign substance and therefore will be poisonous at some point.
I make this point because women’s health issues concerning migraines, PMS, PMDD, menopause and depression are, in part, caused by exposure to toxic prescription medications like birth control pills and synthetic hormone replacement therapy. Of course, the way we treat these conditions is to do two things: We stop the offending drugs and then balance the deficient hormones caused by these drugs with bio-identical hormones.
What holds true for women’s health issues caused by toxic medications should also apply to other health problems caused by other prescription drugs.
This is not rocket science. Just common sense.
Andrew Jones, M.D.
Medical Director, Women’s Health Institute of Texas